The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of standard set weight training (SWT) and circuit weight training (CWT) on excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). The type and order of exercises were the same for both programs. The programs differed in three respects: a circuit approach as opposed to three sets of the same exercise; the percent of maximum weight used was 80 percent in SWT and 50 percent CWT; and rest periods were shorter for CWT (30 seconds) than SWT (120 seconds). This longer rest period resulted in a longer SWT program (50 minutes) than the CWT program (19 minutes). Ten untrained college men performed both weight-training programs. Resting metabolic rate (RMR) was determined before each weight program, followed by a determination of EPOC.
The magnitude and duration of EPOC produced by CWT were significantly (p < 0.01) greater than those produced by SWT. The EPOC produced by CWT was 20 minutes in duration with a net caloric cost estimated at 24.9 kilocalories, while that produced by SWT was 15 minutes in duration with an estimated net caloric cost of 13.5 kilocalories. The intensity of CWT (289 kilograms per minute) was also greater than that of SWT (106 kilograms per minute).
It was concluded that the magnitude and duration of EPOC is greater for CWT in comparison to SWT and the EPOC produced by weight training is somewhat less than that found for aerobic exercise.